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       dpkg-deb - Debian package archive (.deb) manipulation tool


       dpkg-deb [options] command


       dpkg-deb packs, unpacks and provides information about Debian archives.

       Use dpkg to install and remove packages from your system.

       You can also invoke dpkg-deb by calling dpkg with whatever options  you
       want  to  pass to dpkg-deb. dpkg will spot that you wanted dpkg-deb and
       run it for you.


       -b, --build directory [archive|directory]
              Creates a debian archive from  the  filesystem  tree  stored  in
              directory.  directory  must  have  a  DEBIAN subdirectory, which
              contains the control information files such as the control  file
              itself.  This  directory will not appear in the binary package's
              filesystem archive, but instead the files in it will be  put  in
              the binary package's control information area.

              Unless  you specify --nocheck, dpkg-deb will read DEBIAN/control
              and parse it. It will check  it  for  syntax  errors  and  other
              problems,  and  display  the  name  of  the binary package being
              built.   dpkg-deb  will  also  check  the  permissions  of   the
              maintainer  scripts  and other files found in the DEBIAN control
              information directory.

              If no archive is specified then dpkg-deb will write the  package
              into the file directory.deb.

              If  the  archive  to  be  created  already  exists  it  will  be

              If the second argument is a directory then dpkg-deb  will  write
              to  the file package_version_arch.deb, or package_version.deb if
              no Architecture field is present in the  package  control  file.
              When  a  target  directory is specified, rather than a file, the
              --nocheck option may not be used (since dpkg-deb needs  to  read
              and  parse  the package control file to determine which filename
              to use).

       -I, --info archive [control-file-name...]
              Provides information about a binary package archive.

              If no control-file-names are specified  then  it  will  print  a
              summary  of  the  contents of the package as well as its control

              If any control-file-names are specified then dpkg-deb will print
              them  in the order they were specified; if any of the components
              weren't present it will print an error message to  stderr  about
              each one and exit with status 2.

       -W, --show archive
              Provides  information  about  a  binary  package  archive in the
              format specified  by  the  --showformat  argument.  The  default
              format  displays  the  package's  name  and version on one line,
              separated by a tabulator.

       -f, --field archive [control-field-name...]
              Extracts control file information from a binary package archive.

              If  no  control-file-fields are specified then it will print the
              whole control file.

              If any are specified then dpkg-deb will print their contents, in
              the order in which they appear in the control file. If more than
              one control-file-field is specified then dpkg-deb  will  precede
              each with its field name (and a colon and space).

              No errors are reported for fields requested but not found.

       -c, --contents archive
              Lists the contents of the filesystem tree archive portion of the
              package  archive.  It  is  currently  produced  in  the   format
              generated by tar's verbose listing.

       -x, --extract archive directory
              Extracts  the  filesystem  tree  from a package archive into the
              specified directory.

              Note that extracting a package to the root  directory  will  not
              result  in a correct installation! Use dpkg to install packages.

              directory (but not its parents) will be  created  if  necessary,
              and  its  permissions  modified  to  match  the  contents of the

       -X, --vextract archive directory
              Is like --extract  (-x)  but  prints  a  listing  of  the  files
              extracted as it goes.

       --fsys-tarfile archive
              Extracts  the  filesystem  tree  data  from a binary package and
              sends it to standard output in tar format. Together with  tar(1)
              this  can  be  used  to extract a particular file from a package

       -e, --control archive [directory]
              Extracts the control information files from  a  package  archive
              into the specified directory.

              If  no  directory is specified then a subdirectory DEBIAN in the
              current directory is used.

              The target directory (but not its parents) will  be  created  if

       -h, --help
              Show the usage message and exit.

              Show the version and exit.


              This  option  is used to specify the format of the output --show
              will produce. The format is a string that  will  be  output  for
              each package listed.

              The  string  may  reference any status field using the "${field-
              name}" form, a list of the valid fields can be  easily  produced
              using  -I  on  the  same  package. A complete explanation of the
              formatting  options  (including  escape  sequences   and   field
              tabbing)  can  be  found  in the explanation of the --showformat
              option in dpkg-query(1).

              The default for this field is "${Package}\t${Version}\n".

              Specify which  compression  level  to  pass  to  the  compressor
              backend program, when building a package.

              Specify  which  compression type to use when building a package.
              Allowed values are gzip, xz, bzip2, lzma, and none  (default  is

       --new  Ensures that dpkg-deb builds a `new' format archive. This is the

       --old  Forces dpkg-deb to build  an  `old'  format  archive.  This  old
              archive  format is less easily parsed by non-Debian tools and is
              now obsolete; its only use  is  when  building  packages  to  be
              parsed  by versions of dpkg older than 0.93.76 (September 1995),
              which was released as i386 a.out only.

              Inhibits  dpkg-deb  --build's  usual  checks  on  the   proposed
              contents  of  an archive. You can build any archive you want, no
              matter how broken, this way.

       -D, --debug
              Enables debugging output. This is not very interesting.


       TMPDIR If set, dpkg-deb will use it as the directory in which to create
              temporary files and directories.


       dpkg-deb -I package1.deb package2.deb does the wrong thing.

       There  is  no authentication on .deb files; in fact, there isn't even a
       straightforward  checksum.   (Higher  level  tools  like  APT   support
       authenticating  .deb  packages  retrieved  from a given repository, and
       most packages nowadays provide an  md5sum  control  file  generated  by
       debian/rules.  Though this is not directly supported by the lower level

       Do not attempt to use just dpkg-deb to install software! You  must  use
       dpkg  proper  to ensure that all the files are correctly placed and the
       package's scripts run and its status and contents recorded.


       deb(5), deb-control(5), dpkg(1), dselect(1).


       Copyright (C) 1995-1996 Ian Jackson

       This is free software; see the GNU General Public Licence version 2  or
       later for copying conditions. There is NO WARRANTY.